Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, Chair of the Board

2017 is flying by and it is already spring. Today, we are in full throttle, giving all PPAI members full access to numerous tools to Get In Touch!® including print ads, logos, social media graphics, research, videos and more all for you to spread this amazing message about the promotional products industry.

How Are You Getting In Touch?

As you know, the Get In Touch! initiative is an integral part of PPAI’s new mission as we are making the change from transactional to relational. This campaign, the first of its kind, is aimed at increasing awareness and enhancing the overall perception of promotional products with the ultimate goal of directing a larger share of advertising dollars to include the purchase of promotional products. This is all focused on your success as promotional product professionals.

My promotional products company, Competitive Edge, is getting in touch through hosting our customers and prospective customers at regional association buyer shows that will allow them to have fun while learning about how we can help them by being an important part of their advertising and marketing dollars. We recently hosted several customers at the PPAChicago New Ideas Show at the Arlington Park Racetrack where they could enjoy a day at the track as they met with more than 100 of our finest suppliers.

It was a fantastic event and our customers loved the hands‑on experience. We want to hear how all of you are getting in touch. Please share what you, your customers or others are doing to Get In Touch!. Sharing how you are getting people involved—from your internal staff to your clients—will offer all of us the inspiration to be creative and innovative in our own efforts. To share what you are doing to Get In Touch!, please contact Kim R. Todora, PPAI public relations manager, at

L.E.A.D. Is One Of The Ways PPAI Is Getting In Touch

The promotional products industry is nearly a $21 billion industry annually. We are a powerful industry and we need to be heard, seen and recognized. Legislative Education and Action Day (L.E.A.D.) is a way PPAI is getting in touch and staying in touch.

For nearly a decade, PPAI has participated in L.E.A.D. Industry professionals throughout the country  travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with senators, representatives and legislative staff to discuss and create awareness about issues, opportunities and potential challenges we face. As this issue went to press, 80 representatives took part in L.E.A.D. 2017 and over 250 meetings were scheduled for April 26 and 27. We are ready to discuss relevant issues affecting our industry. This forum allows us to take the industry’s voice to Capitol Hill.

This is my third year participating in L.E.A.D. as a PPAI member, board member and as an owner of a promotional products business. Each year, it has been very gratifying to know I was making a difference. To be among other PPAI members and get in front of legislators, and meet face-to-face with them to share the importance of our industry, was empowering. These discussions brought a new sense of awareness to the size and impact our industry has not only in our home state, but the domestic economy as a whole. This, indeed, is another way in which PPAI is getting in touch.

L.E.A.D. is also a powerful tool on the state level. I just returned from Michigan’s L.E.A.D. Local in Lansing at the end of March where 10 MiPPA members hosted breakfast for 36 Michigan legislative representatives and visited an additional 60 offices to make them aware of the importance promotional products businesses play in Michigan’s economy; nearly 8,000 Michigan residents work for 970 Michigan-based promotional products businesses. We had a fantastic turnout and were able to have some meaningful face-to-face meetings with our legislative representatives.

Thank You

It is truly amazing what we can all achieve when we do it together. We need your voice and action as a PPAI member. I know we are making a difference to grow and protect the promotional products industry. Thank you.

Mary Jo Tomasini, MAS, is chair of the PPAI Board of Directors.